Holiday music is playing in the background as I write what I hope is the nudge for you to sincerely evaluate the way your online and offline brands are propelling your business or career. Now, if you are happy with the trajectory of your brand – bravo. If you continue to do what you’ve always done, at some point, it too will be off the mark.
Think of an airplane – it’s headed to a destination and almost never is in a perfect line between the source and destination airports. Wind and precipitation and air pockets all move the plane around to unsuspected positions. It’s the pilot’s job to course correct.
You, my friend, are the pilot of your brand.
Where to start can always be the biggest challenge. Searching for the latest branding articles tends to get folks wound around the axel regarding their personal, business and other names for their brands. Read ‘What’s Your Brand Cocktail’ to nail this concept for yourself.
Now that you’ve got a sense of how you would like to promote your personal and professional brands, let’s look at the other people that offer similar value to what you provide. For instance, if you’re a CPA and have a payroll service, Square has a payroll service that may or may not be competitive to what you provide. Understanding the sweet spot of your service offering to what it is your ideal client needs and wants is so helpful to your brand story.
Your brand story – I know, brand story is another concept many are frustrated with. How much of what to share with which audience? It can really make your head spin. Step one – understand what story your ideal client wants to hear from you! Keep it short and sweet.
Yes, this one-liner is a brand story in its fundamental form. I realize there’s no epiphany bridge here, and sometimes, your full back story isn’t ready, isn’t relevant, or isn’t productive. Only the pilot (YOU) can decide.
You’re throwing a yellow flag at the phrase ‘ideal client’. Well, if you’re already doing business, hopefully, you have a client you just LOVE doing business with. Putting together a profile of that ideal client can be simply gender, occupation, age, social presence. If you’re really into your clients, understand the challenges they have with your product/service as well as the other things they’re doing / feeling on a daily basis. Leverage the ideal client profile to phrase your values 1,2,3 above to solve their problems. This is where the alchemy starts to work.
If you don’t yet have clients – make your best guess. Try to close them and keep tweaking your story, offer, and the ideal client until you make fireworks happen. ASK your prospective clients who say ‘no thanks’ why they said ‘no’ and what you would need to do to make it a ‘yes’. This falls more into the market research bucket than branding, however, it’s necessary to nail the combination that works for you today.
I love chatting with my current and past clients to ask them what they’re up to. What do they need help with? Sometimes I can support their needs; most of the time I’m able to refer them to someone who can solve their challenge. Regardless, I’m ensuring the pilot’s course for my brand is on point. Often, I get a few ideas of ways that I can repackage or add something to one of my programs to solve the problem.
Next step: CONSISTENT COMMUNICATION will support the RE INVENTION of your brand. Yup, I’m throwing the word ‘content’ out the window because of the number of times I’ve seen my clients squinch up their faces and howl, I don’t know how to create content! Communication, on the other hand, is something we do every day – whether or not we speak. Just ask Marcel*.
If your favorite way to communicate is to type– write an article;
If your favorite way to communicate is to talk- check out podcasting;
If your favorite way to communicate is video- start to give your audience video examples of the values 1,2, and 3 that you listed above.
Have writers, speakers, or video block? Type your value statement into the search bar on web or social and see what comes up. Find an article, podcast, or video you love, write a line or two about why you love it on your favorite social platform, and then link to the article. Bam – you are communicating value.
RE INVENTING your brand may simply be adding a new product, a new ideal client, a new social channel, or an affiliate partner. It doesn’t mean you have to throw out your logo, website, or any historical materials unless it conflicts with the RE INVENTION. Believe it or not, I RE INVENT my brand at least once a year. Branding is my wheelhouse, and I want to make sure it’s resonnating. Thank goodness I have great feedback and asks from my audience.
RE INVENT Your Brand will be the theme of Q1 2020! I hope you (my ideal clients) will enjoy the blog, our award-winning podcast, new YouTube channel, and the most recent FREEBIE – the 7Day LinkedIn Challenge. RE INVENT your LinkedIn for the New Year.
*Marcel Marceau was a French actor and mime artist most famous for his stage persona as “Bip the Clown”. He referred to mime as the “art of silence” and he performed professionally worldwide for over 60 years.